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Posts tagged ‘Uranerz Energy Corp (URZ)’

Athabasca Basin and beyond

March 1st, 2015

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to March 1, 2015

by Greg Klein

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Saskatchewan’s number two for mining jurisdictions worldwide

The province has held a top 10 position for at least five years, but last week Saskatchewan reached second place in a global survey of miners and explorers. The Fraser Institute study released February 24 rated jurisdictions for a number of factors, with the most important attributes making up the Investment Attractiveness Index. There sits Saskatchewan, second only to Finland.

The index considers responses for two separate categories, giving a 60% weight to geology and 40% to public policy. As Macdonald-Laurier Institute managing director Brian Lee Crowley told ResourceClips.com, reserves aren’t much good without policies that allow responsible development. Some comments quoted by the Fraser Institute bear that out.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to February 27, 2015

A province founded on agriculture, Saskatchewan became one of
the world’s leading mining jurisdictions thanks to geology and policy.

“In Saskatchewan, ‘Duty to Consult’ is the responsibility of government, not the company. Something like the Ring of Fire fiasco in Ontario would not happen in Saskatchewan.”

“Good geoscientific support and permitting procedures which allow for timely planning and efficient support from provincial administration in addressing land access and Amerindian issues.”

“Saskatchewan is open to uranium exploration.”

Speaking to the Regina Leader-Post, survey director Kenneth Green said, “In addition to being blessed with an abundance of mineral potential, Saskatchewan gets credit for having a government with a transparent and productive approach to mining policy. The province offers a competitive taxation regime, good scientific support, efficient permitting procedures and clarity around land claims.”

More good words came from provincial Economy Minister Bill Boyd. “Clearly, there is a very good resource here in the province, whether it’s in potash, uranium or other minerals that we mine here in Saskatchewan,’’ the Leader-Post quoted him. “We’ve been able to create a business climate here in Saskatchewan that’s positive. There’s a good workforce in Saskatchewan, a trained workforce, as well.’’

Four other Canadian jurisdictions made the top 10 for investment attractiveness. Additionally the survey showed a significant improvement in Canada’s median score on the Policy Perception Index.

Read more about Canada’s performance in the global mining survey.

Download the survey.

NexGen adds third high-grade section to Rook 1’s Arrow zone

Having discovered another high-grade section of the Arrow zone with Rook 1’s best angled hole yet, NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE assigned new names to the project’s features. A1, A2 and A3 designate three mineralized shears trending northeast to southwest. The latest hole, AR-15-39, found composite mineralization totalling 89.15 metres within 436.5 metres that started at 433.5 metres in downhole depth. Scintillometer readings above 10,000 counts per second coincided with “dense accumulations of semi-massive to massive pitchblende,” the company stated February 24.

The results, from a handheld device that scans drill core for gamma radiation, are no substitute for the still-pending assays. Readings of 10,000 cps or more are called “offscale” due to the limitations of a previous model.

Drilled at a -70 dip between AR-15-37 and -38, the new hole went offscale for seven metres at A2, reinforcing “the continuity of semi-massive to massive pitchblende” in that shear. A3 revealed another 9.75 offscale metres, representing “a 200-metre down-dip extension from high-grade uranium assay intervals in drill holes AR-14-08 and -13,” NexGen added.

One week earlier the company released two holes extending mineralization 81 metres southwest along strike from Rook 1’s best hole so far—angled or vertical and “amongst the best drill results” in the Athabasca Basin.

Both holes revealed “significant dense accumulations of semi-massive to massive pitchblende,” with AR-15-37 giving composite radiation readings for 76 metres within a 264.5-metre section beginning at 405 metres in downhole depth. That included an offscale composite of 9.35 metres.

AR-15-38 showed composite mineralization of 82.35 metres within a 247.5-metre section starting at 474 metres, with a composite 4.5 metres above 10,000 cps.

NexGen also reported its third rig began drilling 400 metres northeast along Arrow’s strike. That’s where a radon-in-lake-water anomaly, 480 metres long by 20 to 150 metres wide, is “optimally situated along the southeast-dipping VTEM conductor [and] projected to reach the unconformity.”

As of February 24, drilling hit mineralization in 37 of 39 Arrow holes, with 5,519 metres of the 18,000-metre winter program complete. The zone covers about 515 metres by 215 metres, with mineralization as shallow as 100 metres and as deep as 817.5 metres in vertical depth.

Arrow remains open in all directions and at depth.

Ever modest, NexGen CEO Leigh Curyer said the zone “is quickly becoming a significant discovery on a world scale with relatively very few holes drilled.”

Fission hits high grade west of Triple R resource

Sunday’s not the usual day to release news of this nature. But March 1 begins PDAC 2015, so what better time to assert bragging rights? Whatever the reason, Fission Uranium TSX:FCU chose the day to announce a radioactive find 555 metres west of its Triple R deposit. The news reinforces interest in R600W, the most westerly of Patterson Lake South’s four zones, where five previous holes showed only low-grade mineralization.

Scintillometer readings for land-based hole PLS15-343 showed 65.5 metres of radiation starting at 105.5 metres in downhole depth, including a continuous 8.85 metres over 10,000 counts per second “with peaks up to 52,900 cps at shallow depth,” the company reported. A second radioactive interval of four metres began at 342.5 metres.

As explained in the NexGen item above, scintillometer readings are no substitute for assays, which are pending. Readings above 10,000 cps are often called “offscale” due to the limitations of earlier scintillometers.

Technical problems terminated the hole at 368 metres “in moderately altered semi-pelitic gneiss,” Fission stated.

R600W’s strike runs 30 metres with a north-south lateral width up to about 20 metres. The project’s four zones extend for a 2.24-kilometre potential strike along the PL-3B conductor. The two middle zones, R00E and R780E, comprise the Triple R resource that shook the market in January. In mid-February Fission announced nine holes that expand R780E, by far the project’s largest zone.

The $10-million, four-rig winter agenda calls for 35 holes on Triple R and R600W, along with 28 holes on regional targets, for a total of about 20,230 metres.

Read more about the Triple R resource estimate.

See an historical timeline of the PLS discovery.

Lakeland Resources bolsters its Basin portfolio

Now with 32 properties totalling over 300,000 hectares, Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK has enlarged what was already one of Saskatchewan’s largest exploration portfolios. New acquisitions announced February 20 include two land packages in the southeastern Basin’s Key Lake area, which gave up over 200 million pounds of uranium by 2002 and still hosts the Key Lake mill.

One of the area acquisitions, the KLR property, features “a significant number of historic conductors within basement rock types and at least two unexplained radiometric anomalies,” Lakeland stated. Sampling of surface rocks and lake and stream sediment brought results up to 691 ppm uranium. Historic drilling revealed 0.12% U3O8 across 0.1 metres. The new turf complements Lakeland’s existing Key Lake-region properties.

Six new claims sit adjacent to Lakeland holdings in the southwestern Basin’s Carter Lake area. The company also gained ground in the Mathews Lake area, north of Lake Athabasca and within basement rocks of the Beaverlodge Domain.

The Carson Lake property lies beyond the Basin’s northeastern margin but within the Wollaston Domain, which hosts most of the Basin’s currently operating mines.

South of the Basin, along the highly prospective Cable Bay shear zone, Lakeland picked up Black Birch East. Historic work on the 26,389-hectare property “showed a number of electromagnetic conductors and radiometric anomalies roughly coincident with the CBSZ.”

The acquisitions result from two transactions, subject to TSXV approval. One set of properties costs $40,880 and 1.12 million shares. A set of two other properties calls for $32,636 and 326,350 shares. Both transactions include a 2% NSR, half of which Lakeland may buy back for $2 million per property.

In late January the company began drilling its Star/Gibbon’s Creek project on the Basin’s north-central rim. Other drill-ready projects include Lazy Edward Bay on the Basin’s southern margin and Newnham Lake, east of Star/Gibbon’s.

In December Takara Resources TSXV:TKK took out a 50% option on Lakeland’s Fond du Lac property. Last year’s private placements brought Lakeland over $5.1 million.

Read more about Lakeland Resources’ Star/Gibbon’s Creek project.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

September 6th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 30 to September 5, 2014

by Greg Klein

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“Aggressive” step-outs continue at NexGen’s PLS-adjacent Rook 1

A week unusually devoid of bragging from Fission Uranium’s (TSXV:FCU) Patterson Lake South gives next-door neighbour NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE top spot among uranium newsmakers. Three more holes announced September 3 bring the total to 28 mineralized holes out of 30 that were sunk across an area of 515 metres by 215 metres at Rook 1’s Arrow zone. Among them is the previously reported “landmark drill hole,” which has now been completed.

The usual scintillometer disclaimer applies. The results come from a hand-held device that measures drill core for radiation in counts per second and are no substitute for assays, which will follow.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 30 to September 5, 2014

That “landmark” hole, AR-14-30, peaked with the previous results. Further drilling only found an additional 6.9 metres (not true thickness) of mineralization starting at 721.3 metres in vertical depth. But overall the hole’s mineralization totalled a composite 206.6 metres.

VP of exploration and development Garrett Ainsworth credited AR-14-30 as “successful in confirming the pinch and swell of mineralization within one of the sub-vertical shear zones that hosts high-grade uranium … Targeting these mineralized swells or ‘blow-outs’ will require a combination of angled and vertical drill holes.”

A composite 202.05 metres came from AR-14-28, with the top-most interval starting at a downhole depth of 108.1 metres. AR-14-29a revealed 123.35 metres, with the first intercept beginning at 230.75 metres in downhole depth.

Ainsworth characterized these holes as “aggressive 45-to-50-metre step-outs that intersected significant intervals of mineralization, which provides further evidence that Arrow is only getting bigger.”

Backed by $6.5 million of working capital, the Arrow campaign continues.

Fission 3.0/Azincourt finish summer drilling at PLN

Fission 3.0 TSXV:FUU and Azincourt Uranium TSXV:AAZ have wrapped up the summer’s six-hole program of about 2,130 metres at Patterson Lake North. One assay released September 3, from a hole testing the A1 conductor, showed:

  • 0.012% U3O8 over six metres, starting at 193 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 0.047% over 0.5 metres)

Geochemical analysis of two other holes “returned highly prospective results that warrant aggressive follow-up on two separate conductor trends,” the companies stated. Five holes tested A1 along 750 metres of strike. A sixth hole targeted the A4-1 conductor. Further drilling is now being planned.

Results are pending for DC resistivity surveys on the property’s Broach Lake area “but preliminary interpretations are prospective.”

Fission 3.0 acts as operator on the 27,408-hectare project, where Azincourt has so far earned 10% of its 50% option.

Last May Fission 3.0 joined Brades Resource TSXV:BRA to announce VTEM results from their Clearwater West joint venture, also adjacently north of PLS.

Macusani completes acquisition of Azincourt’s Peruvian properties

A consolidation of their Peruvian uranium assets has closed, as Macusani Yellowcake TSXV:YEL acquired properties from Azincourt. Details announced September 4 followed terms of a July definitive agreement. Macusani got Azincourt’s Peruvian subsidiary for 68.35 million shares representing about 26.3% of Macusani’s post-transaction stock. Macusani also announced a further $1.66-million financing that brought its private placement to a total of $2.23 million.

The property package borders a project held by Azincourt’s PLN JV partner, Fission 3.0. Read more here and here.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

July 26th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for July 19 to 25, 2014

by Greg Klein

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3.78% U3O8 over 49 metres helps Fission build Patterson Lake South

High grades and wide intervals at relatively shallow depths continue to characterize Fission Uranium’s (TSXV:FCU) Patterson Lake South. Of eight holes released July 21, all showed mineralization, six substantially. Three standout assays boasted 3.78% U3O8 over 49 metres, 3.96% over 40 metres and 5.34% over 25.5 metres. The entire octet came from R780E, the middle and largest of five zones along a 2.24-kilometre potential strike that remains open to the east and west. Some highlights include:

Hole PLS14-192

  • 0.53% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 51 metres, starting at 110 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 2.36% over 5.5 metres)

  • 0.48% over 12.5 metres, starting at 191.5 metres
  • (including 1.27% over 4 metres)
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for July 19 to 25, 2014

PLS14-193

  • 1.62% over 2 metres, starting at 162 metres

PLS14-194

  • 0.86% over 2.5 metres, starting at 187 metres

PLS14-195

  • 0.64% over 4.5 metres, starting at 244 metres
  • (including 2.81% over 1 metre)

PLS14-197

  • 0.81% over 8 metres, starting at 87.5 metres
  • (including 3.65% over 1.5 metres)

  • 5.34% over 25.5 metres, starting at 102.5 metres
  • (including 15.81% over 5 metres)
  • (and including 8.4% over 4 metres)

  • 1.24% over 3.5 metres, starting at 151 metres

  • 2.61% over 13 metres, starting at 157 metres
  • (including 20.04% over 1.5 metres)

  • 2.17% over 2.5 metres, starting at 175.5 metres

PLS14-198

  • 3.96% over 40 metres, starting at 95 metres
  • (including 10.35% over 14 metres)

PLS14-199

  • 0.11% over 6.5 metres, starting at 209 metres

  • 0.42% over 10.5 metres, starting at 233.5 metres
  • (including 3.07% over 1 metre)

PLS14-200

  • 3.78% over 49 metres, starting at 109.5 metres
  • (including 9.34% over 10 metres)
  • (and including 26.32% over 1 metre)
  • (and including 9% over 3.5 metres)

  • 1.16% over 5 metres, starting at 221 metres

True widths weren’t provided.

PLS14-199, along with the previously released PLS14-189 which included 1.93% over 15 metres, sits on the eastern edge of R780E. Their assays prompted Fission to suggest the possibility of closing a 75-metre gap between R780E and R1155E to the east. R780E currently has a strike length of about 855 metres.

While laboratory boffins analyze the final two dozen holes from last winter’s 92, Fission’s field crew continues with a 63-hole, 20,330-metre summer campaign. About 30% of the program will be exploration. But the priority is to delineate a maiden resource scheduled for December.

Ur-Energy reports 8.81 million pounds eU3O8 M&I at Shirley Basin

Ur-Energy TSX:URE released a resource estimate on July 22 for what it calls a “well-defined, high-grade uranium roll front deposit at very favourable production depths.” In the vicinity of the company’s Lost Creek in-situ recovery operation, the Wyoming property came with Ur-Energy’s discount acquisition of Pathfinder Mines. The resource was broken down into two areas:

Fab trend

  • measured: 1.06 million tonnes averaging 0.28% for 6.57 million pounds uranium oxide-equivalent (eU3O8)

  • indicated: 413,674 tonnes averaging 0.12% for 1.08 million pounds

Area 5

  • measured: 176,900 tonnes averaging 0.24% for 947,000 pounds

  • indicated: 84,367 tonnes averaging 0.11% for 214,000 pounds

The M&I total for both areas comes to 8.81 million pounds eU3O8.

The estimate was based on approximately 3,200 historic holes totalling about 366,000 metres sunk before 1992 and on Ur-Energy’s confirmation drilling that finished last May. Resources start at an average depth of about 95 metres. The company stated it’s “moving at a rapid pace to advance the data collection programs necessary to support amendment applications to the existing mining permits and licences.”

The previous week Ur-Energy announced its Lost Creek plant recovered 116,707 pounds U3O8 in Q2. The company set its Q3 production target at 200,000 pounds.

Two new properties expand Lakeland Resources’ Basin-area portfolio

Two more acquisitions announced July 21 solidify Lakeland Resources’ (TSXV:LK) position as one of the largest landholders in and around the Athabasca Basin. Both projects benefit from previous exploration but show greater potential with more recent methodology.

The 20,218-hectare Newnham Lake property sits contiguous to Lakeland’s Karen Lake project around the Basin’s northeastern rim. Depth to the basement rock is expected to be from zero to around 100 metres, the company stated.

Newnham Lake covers parts of a roughly 25-kilometre-long folded and faulted conductive trend that attracted over 140 drill holes by 1984. But, following the understanding of the time, most holes stopped less than 25 metres past the sub-Athabasca unconformity. More recent knowledge of the Basin’s basement-hosted unconformity-style deposits brings new potential to the project.

Previous work did show extensive alteration and anomalous geochemistry along with highly anomalous uranium, nickel and other pathfinders. Several targets remain to be tested.

When we do see that price turnaround that’s been forecast for 2015, we expect to see more joint venture interest in our projects. There’s not a whole hell of a lot of ground left to be had.—Jonathan Armes, president/CEO
of Lakeland Resources

Historic lake and stream sediment samples from Karen Lake, a Lakeland property contiguously northeast, also revealed uranium, nickel and other pathfinders. Historic overburden samples showed over 1% uranium.

Southeast of Newnham and just beyond the Basin, the approximately 21,000-hectare Hatchet Lake sits east of Lakeland’s Fond du Lac property. Although Hatchet covers part of an interpreted extension of the same basement graphitic meta-sedimentary basin, it’s seen little exploration.

As uranium continues to struggle near record-low prices Lakeland president/CEO Jonathan Armes sees this as “a good time to get value for money, advance projects to the drill-ready stage and ideally secure partners to take them to the next level.”

“When we do see that price turnaround that’s been forecast for 2015, we expect to see more joint venture interest in our projects,” he adds. “There’s not a whole hell of a lot of ground left to be had. When companies come back to the table, they’re going to have to partner up. That’s the kind of opportunity we’ll be looking for.”

Helping evaluate the properties are Lakeland advisers with long experience in the Basin. Richard Kusmirski is a veteran of Cameco Corp TSX:CCO and JNR Resources, which became a Denison Mines TSX:DML acquisition. John Gingerich’s background includes Noranda and Eldorado Nuclear, a predecessor of Cameco. They’re working with a new generation of geos from Dahrouge Geological Consulting that includes Lakeland director Neil McCallum.

“They’re compiling all the historic data and reinterpreting it in view of what we know today,” Armes says. “It’s an interesting dynamic to see the guys, old and young, bantering about. It brings new ideas on how to approach things.”

Lakeland may earn a 100% interest in Newnham Lake by paying $100,000 and issuing 2.5 million shares over two years. The vendor retains a 2.5% gross overriding royalty with a 1% buyback provision. Hatchet Lake goes for $13,500, 500,000 shares and a 2.5% GORR, again with a 1% buyback.

The company remains cashed up with approximately $2.5 million in the till, Armes points out. “In the meantime we’ll have some exploration news coming this summer.”

Read more about Lakeland Resources.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

July 19th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for July 12 to 18, 2014

by Greg Klein

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High-grade U3O8 helps Fission delineate

Still enthusiastically proving that high grades can come from shallow depths, Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU released more assays from winter drilling on July 14. Six infill holes from the central portion of R780E, the middle and largest of five zones, complemented the previous week’s batch from the zone’s eastern area. An additional hole from R1155E proved less impressive but provided the strongest results so far from that zone.

Some highlights from R780E show:

Hole PLS14-172

  • 2.1% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 28 metres, starting at 86 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 5.88% over 8.5 metres)
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for July 12 to 18, 2014

With five barges afloat over Patterson Lake South, Fission Uranium
has another season to drill prior to releasing a December resource.

  • 0.23% over 11 metres, starting at 131.5 metres

  • 0.54% over 18 metres, starting at 168 metres
  • (including 1.62% over 4.5 metres)

  • 0.6% over 10 metres, starting at 224 metres

Hole PLS14-181

  • 0.46% over 27.5 metres, starting at 118 metres
  • (including 1% over 9 metres)

  • 6.01% over 17.5 metres, starting at 148 metres
  • (including 23.53% over 4 metres)

Hole PLS14-183

  • 0.14% over 18 metres, starting at 109 metres

  • 0.21% over 10.5 metres, starting at 147 metres

  • 0.66% over 13.5 metres, starting at 176.5 metres
  • (including 1.22% over 5.5 metres)

  • 1.63% over 3.5 metres, starting at 193.5 metres

  • 1.1% over 6.5 metres, starting at 213 metres

  • 0.48% over 6 metres, starting at 244 metres
  • (including 1.11% over 2 metres)

Hole PLS14-184

  • 2.02% over 14.5 metres, starting at 110.5 metres
  • (including 8.31% over 2 metres)

  • 7.66% over 2 metres, starting at 136 metres

  • 1.65% over 19 metres, starting at 158.5 metres
  • (including 4.45% over 3.5 metres)

Hole PLS14-189

  • 1.93% over 15 metres, starting at 262.5 metres

  • 0.44% over 13 metres, starting at 281 metres
  • (including 1.03% over 4.5 metres)

Hole PLS14-191

  • 0.22% over 6.5 metres, starting at 99 metres

  • 0.62% over 9 metres, starting at 122 metres
  • (including 1.7% over 2.5 metres)

  • 1% over 3.5 metres, starting at 152.5 metres

On the R1155E zone, the better results from PLS14-191 showed:

  • 0.2% over 8 metres, starting at 197.5 metres
  • (including 1.28% over 0.5 metres)

  • 0.33% over 3.5 metres, starting at 211 metres

  • 0.1% over 5.5 metres, starting at 359 metres

True widths weren’t provided. Fission Uranium stated PLS14-191 “opens up the potential to discover increased amounts and higher grades of mineralization from this area, including further to the south and within the 75-metre gap separating R780E and R1155E.” The 31,039-hectare project’s 2.24-kilometre potential strike remains open to the east and west.

Still to come are assays for 32 holes from last winter’s 92-hole program. Now underway is a 63-hole, 20,330-metre campaign worth $12 million to focus on R780E. That would bring the project’s total to about 263 holes totalling around 83,500 metres. December’s the deadline for the maiden resource.

Cigar Lake suspended as Cameco encounters freezing failure

Progress continues on the technological challenge of extracting Cigar Lake’s uranium deposit—but not “as quickly as expected,” Cameco Corp TSX:CCO conceded July 16. As a result production has been suspended to allow some areas of the mine to freeze more thoroughly. In an innovative method to prevent flooding “where the water-saturated Athabasca sandstone meets the underlying basement rocks,” the company injects and freezes a brine solution around the rock body. Water jet boring then extracts the ore. (Watch a video here.) Now Cameco has stopped operations to allow “additional freezing.”

Noting that the McClean Lake mill, 70 kilometres away, hasn’t started processing Cigar Lake feed, the suspension “will allow more continuous production at the mine once the mill is operational.” Cameco anticipates a couple of months’ delay that will affect 2014 production, which was originally estimated at 770 to 1,100 tonnes of uranium concentrate. The long-term annual target of 18 million pounds U3O8 by 2018 remains unaffected.

The company will provide another update during its July 31 Q2 discussion.

Flooding in 2006 and 2008 had already set back development at the eastside Athabasca Basin mine, which began construction in 2005. The first ore shipment finally left Cigar Lake in March. McClean Lake was scheduled to begin processing last quarter, following modifications to the leaching circuit.

The world’s second-largest high-grade uranium deposit, Cigar Lake holds grades 100 times the global average. The joint venture is held 50.025% by Cameco, 37.1% by AREVA Resources Canada, 7.875% by Idemitsu Canada Resources and 5% by TEPCO Resources.

Another JV, McClean Lake is held 70% by AREVA, 22.5% by Denison Mines TSX:DML and 7.5% by OURD Canada.

Read more about Cigar Lake.

Athabasca Nuclear/Strike Graphite merger would combine uranium and diamond projects

Exploration in two Saskatchewan plays would come together under one entity should a merger go through between Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC and Strike Graphite TSXV:SRK. The companies announced that intention on July 15, subject to conditions and approvals. Athabasca Nuclear holds a number of uranium properties including its Preston Lake flagship, which the company operates for the four-company Western Athabasca Syndicate. Strike has received conditional TSXV approval for its 80% acquisition of two properties in the Sask Craton that are contiguous to the Pikoo diamond discovery made last November by North Arrow Minerals TSXV:NAR.

The deal would exchange one Athabasca Nuclear share for each Strike share, with a similar swap of options and warrants. Strike would then become a wholly owned subsidiary of Athabasca Nuclear but presumably would not be called Nuclear Strike. Athabasca Nuclear would be held 73.9% by its current shareholders and 26.1% by Strike shareholders. Athabasca Nuclear’s officers and BOD would remain unchanged, except for the board addition of Blair Way, now a Strike director.

Among the deal’s conditions is two-thirds approval by Strike shareholders. The companies hope to consummate by September 20.

Read about diamond mining and exploration in Canada here and here.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

May 24th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for May 17 to 23, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Kivalliq signs LOI with Westham Resources on Saskatchewan Genesis property

Its flagship Angilak project in Nunavut holds Canada’s highest-grade uranium deposit outside the Athabasca Basin. Nevertheless Kivalliq Energy TSXV:KIV was drawn into Saskatchewan with last January’s acquisition of the 198,763-hectare Genesis project. Now the company plans to bring in Westham Resources TSXV:WHR.P as a funding partner.

Under a letter of intent announced May 21, the capital pool company could acquire an 85% interest in return for 20% of its issued and outstanding shares, $1 million in payments and $5 million in spending over four years. The exploration commitment would include $1 million by year-end and another $1.5 million by August 31, 2016. Kivalliq would act as project operator for at least two years. Kivalliq director Dale Wallster would join Westham’s board.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for May 17 to 23, 2014

Among other conditions, Westham must raise a private placement of at least $2 million.

The property lies northeast of the Basin in the prospective Western Wollaston Tectonic Domain and “covers basement rocks known to host uranium mineralization,” the companies stated. Previous operators and government surveys “outlined over 30 uranium showings that include several uranium-bearing boulder trains.” Based on that data, Kivalliq has identified eight initial targets for geophysics, sediment sampling, soil sampling, mapping and prospecting to be completed by early autumn. The company hopes to follow with a “major” drill program early next year.

Last February Kivalliq reported results of ore-sorting and metallurgical tests from Angilak’s Lac 50 deposit.

UEC adds one Texas property, “releases” another

Still expanding its southern Texas “hub-and-spoke” projects, Uranium Energy Corp NYSE MKT:UEC announced a new acquisition May 20, this one with a permitting advantage. The Longhorn project’s aquifer exemption “eliminates a major permitting hurdle” for a potential in-situ recovery operation, covering the mining zone of interest and allowing for expansion, the company stated. The project’s historic legacy includes drill maps and over 500 logs of gamma radiation data.

UEC compiled the project leases and data “over the last 18 months at a very low cost.”

The company also announced a decision to “release” its Channen project following evaluation of last summer’s drill results.

In April UEC completed a preliminary economic assessment for its Slick Rock uranium-vanadium deposit in Colorado. A week before that, the company announced its Burke Hollow ISR project in Texas had begun permitting.

UEC’s southern Texas holdings include the Hobson processing plant, the Palangana ISR mine, the Goliad development project and satellite properties. Of its nearly two dozen exploration properties, two are located in Paraguay and the others in the western U.S.

Unity picks up historic Uranium City region property

Twenty-six kilometres southwest of Uranium City, Saskatchewan, the Gulch Mine project comprises Unity Energy’s TSXV:UTY latest acquisition. Announced May 21, the 3,010-hectare property holds an historic, non-43-101 “reserve,” estimated by one source at around 928,796 pounds uranium oxide (U3O8) and by another at 1.65 million pounds. Gulch adjoins properties held by Fission 3.0 TSXV:FUU, Red Rock Energy TSXV:RRK and CanAlaska Uranium TSXV:CVV.

A 100% interest will require $1.2 million in payments over 18 months from Unity, which must drill 3,000 metres within three years. The vendor retains a 2.5% gross overriding royalty. Unity may buy back two-fifths for $1.5 million, less any previous royalty payments.

Earlier this month Unity closed a 100% option on the 14,200-hectare Camsell project in the northwestern Basin. In April the company optioned out 50% of its Mitchell Lake project to Rio Grande Mining TSXV:RGV.

MPVC tests NW Manitoba for uranium, “young” uranium, radon and lead 210

As a rotary air blast drill arrived on site, MPVC Inc TSXV:UNO updated its Northwest Manitoba project on May 22. The RAB drill is intended to quickly test shallow targets found by geophysical, geochemical and prospecting work. Drilling will take place over the lake while ice persists.

Two holes of core drilling have failed to convince a gamma ray spectrometer that they contain significant uranium mineralization, MPVC conceded. But “samples of the core are now being tested for radon, ‘young’ uranium and lead 210 which, if present, could signal the presence of uranium mineralization at greater depths.”

The company also reported receiving a letter of support for its one-year drill permit application from the Northlands Denesuline First Nation.

In early May MPVC stated preliminary results from the project’s radon-in-water survey showed, “to the author’s knowledge,” readings second only to Fission Uranium’s (TSXV:FCU) Patterson Lake South.

Contract prices, spending cuts help Ur-Energy withstand uranium’s descent

While uranium sinks to eight-year lows, on May 22 Ur-Energy TSX:URE revised its guidance for this year and next. With mid- and long-term contracts in place, customers have committed to buy approximately 518,000 pounds U3O8 at an average of $51.10 a pound this year, for projected revenues approaching $26.5 million.

As for 2015, the company so far has commitments for 630,000 pounds at an average of $50.10, for projected revenues of $31 million. With spending controls as well as managed production, Ur-Energy expects “to maintain a positive cash position throughout 2014 and 2015.”

Although its processing facility has a nameplate capacity of two million pounds annually, the company plans to keep production tied to contract obligations in 2015 “unless the market demonstrates sustained price improvement.”

Ur-Energy began ISR mining at Lost Creek in Wyoming last August.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

May 17th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for May 10 to 16, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Cameco suspends Millennium mine proposal

Declining uranium prices have forced Cameco Corp TSX:CCO to postpone its Millennium mine proposal. On May 16 the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission stated a public hearing for a licence application scheduled for June had been adjourned at Cameco’s request. A brief message on the company’s website blamed “poor economic conditions in world uranium markets.”

Figures from 2009 credited the project with an indicated resource of 46.8 million pounds uranium oxide (U3O8) averaging 4.53% uranium. A 2013 environmental impact statement forecast an initial 10-year lifespan, but anticipated extensions if further resources were found. Ore would have been shipped 36 kilometres south to the Key Lake mill, held 83% by Cameco and 17% by AREVA Resources Canada.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for May 10 to 16, 2014

Although just last month Cameco expressed optimism in uranium’s
long-term outlook, the company blamed market conditions as it
withdrew its Millennium licence application.

Uranium prices have continued their slide to new record lows. Although there’s no spot price for the metal, UX Consulting’s most recent indicator, published May 12, came to $29 a pound.

In last month’s Q1 report, Cameco expressed optimism about the long-term outlook, expecting “an increase in annual uranium consumption from today’s 170 million pounds to about 240 million pounds” over the next decade.

In March Cameco finally put its Cigar Lake mine into production, nine years after construction began and 33 years after its discovery.

The CNSC left the door open for Cameco to make a future request that its licence application be considered by the commission, which would then call a public hearing.

Fission Uranium hits 30 metres of 2.58% U3O8 at Patterson Lake South

Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU unloaded assays for eight more holes from Patterson Lake South on May 13, all of them from the R780E zone. This week’s star, PLS14-158, marks the eastern-most R780E hole for which assays have been released, boosting the company’s optimism in the deposit’s eastward potential. Some of the best results show:

Hole PLS14-141

  • 0.72% U3O8 over 11 metres, starting at 163 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 2.04% over 3 metres)

  • 0.77% over 6 metres, starting at 187.5 metres
  • (including 2.31% over 1.5 metres)

PLS14-143

  • 0.26% over 14 metres, starting at 145 metres

  • 0.41% over 5 metres, starting at 248 metres
  • (including 1.06% over 1.5 metres)

PLS14-144

  • 0.79% over 19 metres, starting at 127.5 metres
  • (including 3.21% over 3.5 metres)

  • 0.46% over 7.5 metres, starting at 151.5 metres

  • 0.3% over 8.5 metres, starting at 196 metres
  • (including 1.43% over 1 metre)

  • 2.07% over 3 metres, starting at 208 metres
  • (including 3.21% over 1.5 metres)

PLS14-148

  • 1.83% over 3.5 metres, starting at 154.5 metres
  • (including 2.9% over 2 metres)

  • 0.63% over 5 metres, starting at 192.5 metres

PLS14-149

  • 0.2% over 17.5 metres, starting at 117.5 metres

PLS14-150

  • 2.94% over 7 metres, starting at 219 metres
  • (including 5.58% over 3.5 metres)

  • 0.22% over 19.5 metres, starting at 285.5 metres

PLS14-157

  • 0.35% over 6.5 metres, starting at 125 metres

  • 0.29% over 14.5 metres, starting at 168.5 metres

PLS14-158

  • 0.72% over 8 metres, starting at 141 metres

  • 2.58% over 30 metres, starting at 152 metres
  • (including 22.02% over 1 metre)
  • (and including 8.57% over 5 metres)

  • 6.85% over 10 metres, starting at 232.5 metres
  • (including 12.23% over 5.5 metres)

  • 3.53% over 4.5 metres, starting at 253.5 metres
  • (including 11.95% over 1 metre)

True widths weren’t provided. R780E is the middle of five zones, and the largest of all five, along a 2.24-kilometre potential strike that’s open both to the east and west. With assays released for 30 winter holes so far, lab results are pending for approximately 62 more.

Although winter exploration drilling fell short of exciting, the season’s focus was on infill drilling to define a maiden resource that will—on some unspecified date—debut to an intensely curious audience.

Powertech files Kyrgyzstan resource held 80% by proposed merger partner, updates South Dakota licence challenge

Powertech Uranium TSX:PWE has filed an inferred resource for the Kyzyl Ompul licence in Kyrgyzstan, the company announced on May 13. The 42,379-hectare project is held 80% by Azarga Resources Ltd, which plans to merge with Powertech. The resource uses a 0.01% cutoff to show 15.13 tonnes averaging 0.022% for 7.51 million pounds U3O8 inferred.

Powertech described the Kok Moinok main zone as about 700 metres along an east-west strike, 600 metres north-south and 10 to 30 metres in depth. The report also included two conceptual exploration target area estimates.

Although Powertech acknowledged that access to the project was blocked by political unrest in 2005 and 2010, the company maintained that “the main risk factors at this stage are commodity prices….”

Last year Kyrgyzstan managed to fall a few spots to the very bottom of the Fraser Institute’s policy perception index and achieved near-bottom rankings for several other categories in the annual poll of mining professionals. But a May 7 Financial Post article by Peter Koven pointed out that despite public opposition, social unrest and ongoing government policy threats, Centerra Gold’s (TSX:CG) Kyrgyzstan mine “continues to run and churn out cash.”

The Kyzyl Ompul licence expires at the end of 2015. Read more about the Powertech/Azarga merger here and here.

On May 14 Powertech updated events following a challenge to its operating licence for the company’s Dewey-Burdock project in South Dakota. In oral hearings the previous day, opponents questioned procedures followed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to determine the importance of possible native religious sites in the area.

As the hearings continue, the NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will decide whether Dewey-Burdock’s licence becomes effective or remains on hold until a formal hearing in August. Read more about the licence challenge.

MPVC begins drilling Maguire Lake target at NW Manitoba

Drilling has begun at MPVC Inc’s (TSXV:UNO) Northwest Manitoba project, the company announced May 14. While winter conditions persist, a diamond drill will focus on Maguire Lake. Preliminary radon measurements from the lake reported the previous week were, to the company’s knowledge, second only to PLS for a water-based survey. MPVC will also bring in a rotary air blast drill, which is intended to test shallow targets quickly.

With ground gravity survey results now in hand, the company has filled in gaps between three earlier sets of data, extending previously identified gravity lows and discovering new gravity lows.

To earn 80% of the 143,603-hectare project from CanAlaska Uranium TSXV:CVV, MPVC must spend $3.2 million on exploration by 2015.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

April 19th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for April 12 to 18, 2014

by Greg Klein

Next Page 1 | 2

Fission Uranium releases second batch of winter assays from Patterson Lake South

With its first set of Patterson Lake South assays since February 19 and only the second since winter drilling began in mid-January, Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU reported 12 holes on April 14. Nine showed high grades and all came from zone R780E, the third of five zones along a 2.24-kilometre west-east potential strike that remains open at both ends. Among the best assays were:

Hole PLS14-125

  • 0.46% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 56.5 metres, starting at 119.5 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 1.91% over 6 metres)
  • (and including 1.71% over 2.5 metres)

  • 0.21% over 12 metres, starting at 225.5 metres

Hole PLS14-126

  • 1.3% over 8.5 metres, starting at 152.5 metres
  • (including 4.44% over 1 metre)

  • 2.41% over 5.5 metres, starting at 178 metres
  • (including 4.66% over 2 metres)

  • 0.96% over 5 metres, starting at 230 metres

Hole PLS14-128

  • 0.46% over 6 metres, starting at 167.5 metres

  • 6.74% over 4 metres, starting at 216.5 metres
  • (including 13.04% over 2 metres)

Hole PLS14-130

  • 0.47% over 17 metres, starting at 84.5 metres
  • (including 1.57% over 3.5 metres)

  • 3% over 4 metres, starting at 142.5 metres
  • (including 11.1% over 1 metre)

Hole PLS14-131

  • 0.22% over 22.5 metres, starting at 168.5 metres

  • 0.3% over 30.5 metres, starting at 199.5 metres
  • (including 0.93% over 3.5 metres)

  • 0.34% over 21.5 metres, starting at 234.5 metres

Hole PLS14-132

  • 0.4% over 12.5 metres, starting at 72 metres
  • (including 3.28% over 1 metre)

  • 0.72% over 46 metres, starting at 134.5 metres
  • (including 2.41% over 10.5 metres)

  • 1.54% over 5.5 metres, starting at 216 metres
  • (including 2.74% over 3 metres)

  • 4.03% over 8 metres, starting at 226.5 metres
  • (including 8.48% over 3.5 metres)

Hole PLS14-133

  • 0.9% over 13.5 metres, starting at 167 metres
  • (including 8.37% over 1 metre)

  • 0.48% over 21.5 metres, starting at 184 metres
  • (including 1.03% over 5 metres)

Hole PLS14-136

  • 0.92% over 41 metres, starting at 119 metres
  • (including 2.59% over 8 metres)
  • (and including 3.69% over 2.5 metres)

True widths were unavailable.

The previous week Fission Uranium stated 70 holes had been completed out of a planned 100 winter holes totalling approximately 30,000 metres. About 85 holes, using four rigs, will concentrate on delineation. A fifth rig explores outside the main mineralized trend. The 31,039-hectare project’s winter budget comes to $12 million, including geophysics. No target date has been announced for the project’s highly anticipated maiden resource.

Macusani Yellowcake, Azincourt sign LOI to consolidate Peruvian properties

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for April 12 to 18, 2014

Azincourt’s Macusani project, on Peru’s Macusani plateau
and surrounded by Macusani Yellowcake, borders a Fission 3.0
property also called Macusani.

Under a letter of intent announced April 17, Macusani Yellowcake TSXV:YEL would swallow up additional properties held by Azincourt Uranium TSXV:AAZ but surrounded by Macusani in southeastern Peru. The deal would give Azincourt 68.35 million Macusani shares, representing about 30% of the company following the transaction. Macusani would then control over 949 square kilometres hosting “one of the largest undeveloped uranium projects in the world,” the two companies stated.

Macusani’s current package, on Peru’s Macusani plateau, hosts four low-grade deposits that offer low-cost mining potential, according to a December preliminary economic assessment. August resource estimates total 321,000 pounds U3O8 measured, 31.15 million pounds indicated and 30.08 million pounds inferred.

Azincourt completed the acquisition of its two Peruvian assets in January, before contracting technical studies on them. An historic, non-43-101 resource released in 2011 for Azincourt’s 4,900-hectare, now confusingly named Macusani project showed 5.69 million pounds measured, 12.52 million pounds indicated and 17.42 million pounds inferred. The company’s 9,600-hectare Muñani project has undergone airborne geophysics and ground work but has yet to be drilled. Prior to Azincourt’s acquisition, the two projects had lain dormant for two years following Fukushima.

On closing the deal Macusani anticipates a new PEA that would “easily” incorporate the new properties into its existing mine plan.

The consolidated turf would then surround some 51 square kilometres held by Fission 3.0 TSXV:FUU. The Fission Energy spinco collaborates with Azincourt on their PLS-adjacent PLN joint venture.

Definitive agreement advances Denison’s acquisition of Enexco

Denison Mines TSX:DML moved closer to its planned acquisition of International Enexco TSXV:IEC with a definitive agreement announced April 14. Terms of the all-share deal remain unchanged from the LOI reported last month.

In early April Denison reported radiometric results from the Wheeler River JV’s newly discovered Gryphon zone. More radiometric results followed the next day from Enexco’s Mann Lake JV.

Forum announces initial drill results from Clearwater

Spring break-up brought an early end to the Clearwater project’s first drill program, but Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC identified “five major structural trends with reactivated graphitic shear zones [and] alteration,” according to an April 17 statement. Core from two holes showed “locally elevated radioactivity” up to 300 counts per second.

Nine holes totalling 2,310 metres tested widely spaced targets “including a number of gravity lows, radon anomalies and EM conductors both on strike and running parallel” to the PLS trend, the company added. Forum expects to have more detailed results by early June.

The program focused on the 9,910-hectare project’s northern claim, which borders the southwest of PLS and is slated for summer follow-up work. Clearwater’s southern claim, with conductive trends, radiometric anomalies and significant values for uranium in lake sediment, has yet to be drilled.

In late March the company resumed drilling at its Northwest Athabasca project, a JV with NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE, Cameco Corp TSX:CCO and AREVA Resources Canada. Forum holds other properties in Nunavut and the northeastern Athabasca Basin.

Fission 3.0, Brades report initial radiometric and VTEM results from Clearwater West

Fission 3.0 and Brades Resource TSXV:BRA reported initial interpretations of two airborne surveys over their Clearwater West project on April 15. A radiometric survey using patent-pending equipment and methodology found a cluster of anomalies on the eastern 10 kilometres of the property where historic data shows EM conductors, the partners stated. Ground prospecting will follow up this summer.

A VTEM survey suggests the property’s east side hosts EM conductors that might continue from the PLS property bordering to the north. More detailed evaluation will follow.

The project’s $700,000 first-year program will also include ground geophysics and geochemical surveys including radon measurements. Fission 3.0 acts as operator on the 11,835-hectare property. Brades holds a three-year option to earn 50%.

Western Athabasca Syndicate to expand Swoosh drill program

The four-company Western Athabasca Syndicate reported preliminary drill results from its Preston property on April 15. Five holes totalling 986 metres tested the Swoosh target, a six-kilometre corridor identified by gravity, magnetic and EM surveys, and coinciding with surficial geochemical anomalies, the alliance stated. The group consists of Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Noka Resources TSXV:NX and Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY.

All five holes hit a hydrothermally altered and reactivated structural zone. A downhole probe found elevated radioactivity in three holes, including one interval of 802 cps over 1.95 metres (not true width) starting at 186.68 metres in downhole depth. Four holes reached depths between 200 and 275 metres. A fifth was abandoned due to poor conditions. More detailed evaluation is expected in May.

Backed by an expanded budget, drilling will continue at Swoosh until late April. The following month the syndicate will test two other targets, CHA and Fin. Athabasca Nuclear acts as operator on the 246,643-hectare property.

On April 14 Ryan Kalt formally became Athabasca Nuclear’s CEO, having already held the position on an interim basis. Kalt has been prominent in acquiring Basin properties, including Preston, and as a director shifted the company to uranium exploration. With a 21.25% stake, he’s also the company’s largest shareholder. On April 15 Athabasca Nuclear announced an advance notice bylaw.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

March 15th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for March 8 to 14, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Innovation overcomes epic struggle to put Cameco’s Cigar Lake into production

 

 

With an ore grade 100 times the world average, Cameco Corp TSX:CCO overcame tremendous challenges to put Cigar Lake into production. Indeed the project’s first ore shipment on March 13 suggests that high grade is the mother of invention.

Among other tribulations, flooding in 2006 and 2008 stalled the eastern Athabasca Basin mine, which dates back to a 1981 discovery and began construction in 2005. Last year’s planned start-up hit another delay with leaks from tanks built to hold the run-of-mine slurry. Around the same time the McClean Lake mill faced delays of its own with modifications to the leaching circuit.

Cameco devised innovative techniques of bulk freezing and jet boring to extract the deposit lying 410 to 450 metres below surface, “where water-saturated Athabasca sandstone meets the underlying basement rocks.”

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for March 8 to 14, 2014

The jet boring tunnel at Cigar Lake, which Cameco calls “among
the most technically challenging mining projects in the world.”

To prevent flooding, the company freezes the ore and surrounding rock “by circulating a brine solution through freeze holes drilled from both surface and underground.”

To extract the ore, Cameco developed a method of high-pressure water jet boring “after many years of test mining” that keeps operators safely distant from the enormously high-grade deposit.

The company’s targeting 18 million pounds a year at full production, making it the world’s largest high-grade uranium mine after the Cameco/AREVA (70%/30%) McArthur River operation. But even 33 years after Cigar Lake’s discovery, the company anticipates further difficulties: “As we ramp up production, there may be some technical challenges which could affect our production plans.”

As of December 31, Cigar Lake capital expenditures came to $2.6 billion. Over 600 people will staff the mine.

Milling will take place at McClean Lake, 70 kilometres northeast. Operator AREVA Resources Canada says the plant “is expected to produce 770 to 1,100 tonnes of uranium concentrate from Cigar Lake ore in 2014. Its annual production rate will ramp up to 8,100 tonnes as early as 2018.”

Cigar Lake shows proven and probable reserves averaging 18.3% for 216.7 million pounds U3O8. Measured and indicated resources average 2.27% for 2.2 million pounds. The inferred resource averages 12.01% for 98.9 million pounds.

Cigar Lake is a joint venture of Cameco (50.025%), AREVA (37.1%), Idemitsu Canada Resources (7.875%) and TEPCO Resources (5%).

The McClean Lake JV consists of AREVA (70% ), Denison Mines TSX:DML (22.5%) and OURD Canada (7.5%).

Read more about Cigar Lake here and here.

Fission Uranium reports Patterson Lake South’s second-best radiometric results, $25-million bought deal

Patterson Lake South’s momentum continued on March 10 as Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU released its third batch of radiometric readings in five days—this time boasting one hole with “the second strongest off-scale results recorded at PLS to date, placing it amongst the best holes drilled in the Athabasca Basin.” The four new holes also continue the winter program’s 100% hit rate and further encourage the company’s quest to connect the six zones along a 1.78-kilometre potential strike.

Fission Uranium reports Patterson Lake South’s second-best radiometric results

Fission uses a hand-held scintillometer to measure
radiation from drill core prior to receiving lab assays.

The most recent star hole is PLS14-164, whose intervals showed a total of 30.08 metres of off-scale readings at 9,999 counts per second, the maximum amount of gamma radiation that the hand-held scintillometer can measure. The readings, taken from drill core, are no substitute for assays, which will follow.

Another hole showed a composite 2.1 metres of off-scale radioactivity. Of the four holes, the mineralized intercept closest to surface started at 56 metres, while the deepest stopped at 380.5 metres.

Oddly enough, Fission Uranium’s March 10 release says one of the new holes “has narrowed the distance between zones R390E and R585E to approximately 60 metres.” That’s the same distance between the same zones reported by the company on March 7.

Already 40 holes have been completed in the $12-million winter campaign that began in mid-January. The company plans about 85 or 90 holes totalling around 30,000 metres on the ice-bound lake before spring. While one rig explores outside the mineralized area, Fission Uranium hopes its four other drills will fill the gaps between the project’s six zones.

Just before the March 10 closing bell Fission Uranium announced a $25-million bought deal. A syndicate of underwriters led by Dundee Securities agreed to buy 15.65 million warrants, exercisable for one share each, at $1.60. The company expects to close the private placement by April 1. The underwriters may buy an additional 15%.

Fission Uranium surpassed its 52-week high March 10, opening three cents above its previous close, reaching $1.71 and then settling on $1.67 when trading was halted at the company’s request minutes before the $25-million announcement.

Trading resumed the following day. The company closed March 14 on $1.59. With 330.12 million shares outstanding, Fission Uranium had a market cap of $524.89 million.

NexGen repeats success with second hole at Rook 1’s new area

NexGen repeats success with second hole at Rook 1’s new area

Core from RK-14-27 shows pitchblende within
brecciated shear at 253.8 metres in downhole depth.

With radiometric results from a second hole on Rook 1’s Arrow prospect, NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE repeated last month’s success. On March 13 the company released dozens of tiny intervals ranging from 0.05 to 0.45 metres that showed “significant” readings over 500 counts per second. One intercept of 15.05 metres (not true width) showed almost continuous significant results.

The measurements, which are no substitute for assays, were obtained by scanning drill core with a hand-held radiation detector.

Significant intervals for RK-14-27 started at 224.45 metres in downhole depth and ended at 435.9 metres. Drilling stopped at 576 metres. About a dozen small intervals hit the device’s maximum possible reading of 10,000 cps. Arrow’s mineralization now extends at least 32 metres down dip across two holes, NexGen stated.

Three other holes failed to find significant radiation but “analysis of structures in these holes meant that hole 27 was successfully planned to intersect the interpreted mineralized zones both along strike and down dip.” The company plans to sink RK-14-29 40 metres southwest along strike. Now in progress, RK-14-28 is testing a gravity low roughly 200 metres west of RK-14-27.

The company has two drills working the Arrow area, now the focus of the PLS-adjacent Rook 1 project. A third rig will join by summer.

On March 10 NexGen stated it filed a preliminary short form prospectus regarding the previously announced $10-million bought deal, which the company expects to close on or about March 26.

Fission 3.0 stakes 42,000 additional hectares in and around the Basin

Three acquisitions and one property expansion add nearly 42,000 hectares to Fission 3.0’s (TSXV:FUU) portfolio. Announced March 13, the newly staked properties indicate “there remain many under-explored areas of the Athabasca Basin,” according to COO and chief geologist Ross McElroy.

Not all the new turf actually lies within the Basin. But neither does PLS. The 20,826-hectare Perron Lake property is about 20 kilometres north of the Basin and has benefited from regional lake sediment sampling that showed strong uranium anomalies.

The 9,168-hectare Cree Bay property sits within the northeastern Basin, where historic airborne geophysics suggest potential for hydrothermal and structure-related deposits.

Within the southeastern Basin, the 4,354-hectare Grey Island property is located about 70 kilometres from Key Lake, the world’s largest high-grade uranium mill.

Manitou Falls enlarges by 7,589 hectares to a total of 10,529 hectares. The northeastern Basin property was originally staked last May when the spinco was just a gleam in Fission Uranium’s eye. Historic data shows six radiometric anomalies and multiple basement electromagnetic conductors.

Fission 3.0’s portfolio now numbers nine Saskatchewan and Alberta properties in and around the Basin and one in Peru’s Macusani uranium district.

Purepoint finds new zone at Hook Lake JV

March 10 news from Purepoint Uranium TSXV:PTU heralded a new zone of mineralization at its Hook Lake joint venture five kilometres northeast of PLS. Although two of four holes failed to find mineralization, the other two prompted the company to move its second rig to the new Spitfire zone.

The single interval released from hole HK14-09 showed:

  • 0.32% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 6.2 metres, starting at 208.9 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 1.1% over 0.5 metres)

Thirty metres northwest, HK14-11 showed:

  • 0.11% over 2 metres, starting at 197.9 metres

  • 0.05% over 3 metres, starting at 201.9 metres

  • 0.57% over 0.9 metres, starting at 210.6 metres

True widths weren’t provided. These holes were drilled at a -70 degree dip.

All four holes targeted the 2.9-kilometre D2 electromagnetic conductor, which features “a large magnetic low, possibly indicative of hydrothermal alteration,” said VP of exploration Scott Frostad. “Now that the D2 conductor has been shown to be associated with uranium mineralization, we will increase our drilling efforts towards the northeast where geophysics suggests there is a more structurally complex setting.”

Purepoint stated D2 comprises part of the Patterson Lake conductive corridor, the same conductive trend targeted by Fission at PLS.

Purepoint holds a 21% interest in the 28,683-hectare project and acts as operator for partners Cameco (39.5%) and AREVA Resources Canada (39.5%). The work is part of a $2.5-million, 5,000-metre campaign that began in late January.

In early February Rio Tinto NYE:RIO began drilling Purepoint’s Red Willow project as part of Rio’s 51% earn-in.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

January 12th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere to January 10, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Fission Uranium says lower-grade assays confirm new PLS zone 195 metres east

Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU continues to pick away at its nearly 50-hole backlog of assays from Patterson Lake South. Results released December 30 come from the project’s eastern-most high-grade zone as well as a not-so-high-grade zone farther east.

Highlights from hole PLS13-099 on zone R945E include:

  • 0.11% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 15 metres, starting at 122 metres in downhole depth

  • 0.14% over 16 metres, starting at 140 metres

  • 0.99% over 23.5 metres, starting at 159.5 metres
  • (including 2.49% over 8.5 metres)

  • 3.99% over 17 metres, starting at 185.5 metres
  • (including 18.52% over 3.5 metres)
  • (which includes 43.5% over 0.5 metres)

  • 0.12% over 8.5 metres, starting at 205 metres

  • 2.69% over 30.5 metres, starting at 222.5 metres
  • (including 5.1% over 6 metres)
  • (and including 5.4% over 7.5 metres)

True widths were unavailable. With a dip of -88 degrees, downhole depths were close to vertical. Three other holes from R945E were released earlier in December. The zone remains open in all directions.

About 195 metres east, two other holes confirm the existence of the less-spectacular zone R1155E. The single assay released from hole PLS13-090 shows:

  • 0.09% over 12 metres, starting at 189.5 metres

Results from PLS13-103 show:

  • 0.07% over 1.5 metres, starting at 176 metres

  • 0.06% over 3.5 metres, starting at 188 metres

  • 0.06% over 1.5 metres, starting at 199.5 metres

  • 0.05% over 0.5 metres, starting at 209 metres

  • 0.06% over 0.5 metres, starting at 365.5 metres

Again, true widths weren’t provided. Both holes were vertical. The results, from a “geologic setting similar to the high-grade zones to the west, [lead to] encouragement that the mineralized system remains open to the east,” the company stated. Winter drilling will continue east of R945E and between the higher-grade zones to the west.

Just before Christmas the company released assays from one hole at zone R585E and seven from R390E. On January 9 Fission Uranium announced that president/COO/chief geologist Ross McElroy had won PDAC’s 2014 Bill Dennis Award for a Canadian discovery or prospecting success. “It takes a team to make a discovery and I’m delighted to have won this award on behalf of Fission,” the statement quoted McElroy.

Recognition also goes to Fission Uranium’s former joint venture partner. In mid-December the father/son team of Ben and Garrett Ainsworth, formerly with Fission acquisition Alpha Minerals and now with spinco Alpha Exploration TSXV:AEX, won the 2013 Colin Spence Award for excellence in global mineral exploration from the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia for their part in the PLS discovery.

Lakeland Resources surveys historic drilling, finds high-grade boulders and some of Athabasca Basin’s highest radon readings

Lakeland Resources’ TSXV:LK Gibbon’s Creek uranium project now shows some of the highest radon gas readings ever found in the Athabasca Basin, the company says. Data collected last year and released January 8 also confirms an historic boulder field, with assays reaching 4.28% U3O8. Additionally, a DC resistivity survey has mapped basement alteration found by historic drilling.

Lakeland Resources Gibbon's Creek exploration

Existing access trails are among the benefits of more than
$3 million of previous work at Riou Lake/Gibbon’s Creek.

The 12,771-hectare project forms part of the 35,463-hectare Riou Lake property, a joint venture in which Declan Resources TSXV:LAN may earn 70% over four years, with a first-year exploration commitment of $1.25 million.

The survey by RadonEx Exploration Management, whose proprietary technology proved vital to Fission Uranium’s PLS, found Gibbon’s Creek readings peaking at 9.93 picocuries per square metre per second (pCi/m²/s). According to a statement by Lakeland president Jonathan Armes the readings, “to our knowledge, are the highest ever reported for the Athabasca Basin area.”

The highest value coincides with a uranium-in-soil anomaly found in historic work, part of more than $3 million of exploration performed on Riou Lake prior to Lakeland’s acquisition of the northern Basin property. Nine more radon samples reached above 3.2 pCi/m²/s, while the background level showed about 1.3 pCi/m²/s.

Meanwhile assays have confirmed existence of an historically defined radioactive boulder field. Prospecting by Dahrouge Geological Consulting found a 1-by-1.2-kilometre field with eight boulders grading over 1% U3O8, one of them hitting 4.28%. Eleven other samples assayed above 0.2%, with nine more below 0.2%. Also showing were anomalous values for nickel, arsenic, lead and cobalt.

Following up on historic drilling by Cameco Corp TSX:CCO-predecessor Eldorado Nuclear, the DC resistivity survey mapped one trend that ranges from near surface to about 200 metres, roughly coinciding with historic basement alteration and mineralization at 100 metres. A second resistivity trend coincides with strong radon values.

Ranking high on the project’s to-do list is a further radon survey. This year’s field work will also try to track the high-grade boulders to their source. Gibbon’s Creek sits less than three kilometres from the settlement of Stony Rapids, with power lines and highways passing through the property.

Read more about Lakeland Resources here and here.

NexGen Energy reports three mineralized holes at Rook 1

NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE released assays on January 9 for three mineralized holes found in last summer’s 13-hole, 3,032-metre program on the Rook 1 project. The widely spaced holes tested three parallel conductors along strike of the PLS discovery 2.1 kilometres southwest. Highlights show:

Hole RK-13-03

  • 0.00137% U3O8 and 0.0204% thorium over 1 metre, starting at 150 metres in downhole depth

Hole RK-13-05

  • 0.05093% U3O8 and 0.0027% thorium over 0.5 metres, starting at 220.5 metres

  • 0.07098% U3O8 and 0.0014% thorium over 0.5 metres, starting at 221 metres

  • 0.022% U3O8 and 0.00163% thorium over 0.5 metres, starting at 221.5 metres

  • 0.027% U3O8 and 0.0024% thorium over 0.5 metres, starting at 222 metres

  • 0.03796% U3O8 and 0.0025% thorium over 0.5 metres, starting at 223.5 metres

  • 0.04834% U3O8 and 0.00268% thorium over 0.5 metres, starting at 224 metres

Hole RK-13-06

  • 0.00118% U3O8 and 0.026% thorium over 0.5 metres, starting at 152 metres

  • 0.00125% U3O8 and 0.0315% thorium over 0.5 metres, starting at 153 metres

True widths were unavailable. Assays for RK-13-05 indicate “the uranium occurs almost wholly within pitchblende/uraninite and not in complex refractory minerals,” the company added. Winter drilling, scheduled to begin this month, will follow up on RK-13-05 and also target several regional anomalies interpreted from geophysical surveys and historic drilling.

In early December NexGen announced completion of airborne radiometric and magnetic surveys. Later that month the company closed a $3.11-million private placement, with funds destined for Rook 1. Still pending are assays from a nine-hole, 3,473-metre campaign at the eastern Basin Radio project, where NexGen holds a 70% option.

UEX announces winter work for western Athabasca and Black Lake projects

Along with its JV partners, UEX Corp TSX:UEX has 2014 exploration slated for its Laurie, Mirror River and Erica projects in the western Athabasca as well as Black Lake in the northern Basin, the company stated January 7.

The western Athabasca projects consist of seven or eight sites (depending which UEX info you consult) totalling 116,137 hectares and held 49.1% by UEX and 50.9% by project operator AREVA Resources Canada. UEX funds $982,000 of this year’s $2-million budget. A 2,000-metre drill campaign begins at Laurie imminently, to be followed by another 2,000 metres at Mirror. Both projects are located around the Basin’s southwestern rim. Erica, north of the other two and west of the company’s 49.1%-owned Shea Creek project, undergoes a ground tensor magnetotelluric survey starting in March.

UEX acts as operator on the 30,381-hectare Black Lake project in the Basin’s north. This year’s 3,000-metre, $650,000 drill program will be funded by Uracan Resources TSXV:URC, which has an option to earn 60% of UEX’s 89.97% portion of the project. AREVA holds the remainder. The campaign begins in late January.

Previous UEX drilling at Black Lake in 2004, 2006 and 2007 found intervals of 0.69% U3O8 over 4.4 metres, 0.5% over 3.3 metres, 0.79% over 2.82 metres and 0.67% over 3 metres.

UEX wholly owns six Basin projects and holds JVs in another eight. Resource estimates have been compiled for Shea Creek and Hidden Bay.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

December 7th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for November 30 to December 6, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Introducing the Alpha Minerals spinco—Alpha Exploration Inc

With court blessing announced December 2 for the Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW takeover by Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU, the deal faces just one more approval, this one from the TSXV. That was expected, but not announced, on December 6. Alpha’s spinco, Alpha Exploration Inc (anticipated ticker TSXV:AEX) gets about $3 million cash and all non-Patterson Lake South assets, including properties in Ontario and British Columbia as well as Saskatchewan. Each Alpha Minerals share fetches 5.725 Fission shares and one-half spinco share. Since December 3 Alpha Minerals shares have no longer traded with spinco shares attached.

The current Alpha Minerals board and management will “substantially” move into AEX positions.

Court approval for Fission Uranium’s spinco—tentatively titled Fission 3.0 to also commemorate Fission Uranium’s predecessor and Denison Mines’ TSX:DML acquisition Fission Energy—was announced the previous week. Each Fission Uranium shareholder gets one share of post-arrangement Fission Uranium as well as a share of the Fission spinout, expected to start trading December 10.

Having obtained full PLS ownership from its 50/50 joint venture ally, Fission Uranium has undoubtedly caught the attention of much bigger takeout artists.

Read more about the takeover.

Read more about uranium merger-and-acquisition activity.

Lakeland/Declan Resources JV accelerates work, strengthens their positions

In this market you have to work with strong partners. You have to collaborate and be a bit creative. We’re fortunate to work with people like Declan president Wayne Tisdale’s team and the financial connections they can bring.—Ryan Fletcher, director of Lakeland Resources

A new team of Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK and Declan Resources TSXV:LAN means an accelerated winter drill program for their Gibbon’s Creek flagship as well as the opportunity to put additional work into other Basin-area projects.

Declan’s first-year commitment will inject another $1.25 million into Gibbon’s, a 12,771-hectare north-central Basin property that already underwent over $3 million of work prior to last fall’s field campaign by Lakeland. Declan may earn 50% of the project by spending that $1.25 million, paying Lakeland $100,000 and issuing two million shares in 12 months. Over four years Declan may obtain a 70% interest for a total of $1.5 million in cash, 11 million shares and $6.5 million in spending.

The agreement further demonstrates Declan’s new direction, following its acquisitions in September and October of the 9,000-hectare Patterson Lake Northeast and 50,000-hectare Firebag River properties.

Declan’s commitment also allows Lakeland to ramp up its campaign for two other north-central Basin properties, South Pine and Perch Lake. Work on all those properties will be managed by Dahrouge Geological Consulting, led by PLS and Waterbury Lake veteran Jody Dahrouge.

Field results from Lakeland’s fall campaign are pending, while new appointments are anticipated from Declan.

Read more about the Lakeland/Declan JV and their other projects.

Read more about Lakeland Resources here and here.

Macusani claims low-cost uranium potential in Peruvian PEA

Macusani Yellowcake TSXV:YEL presented its case for a low-grade but potentially low-cost uranium mining operation in Peru with a preliminary economic assessment released December 5. The company envisions both open pit and underground operations with “a low stripping ratio in the open pit operations, anticipated low acid consumption and high process plant recoveries expected to be achieved in a short period of time.”

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for November 30 to December 6, 2013

The under-explored Macusani plateau shows considerable
uranium potential, according to the eponymous Macusani Yellowcake.

The report, using U.S. dollars, uses an 8% discount rate to calculate a $417-million after-tax net present value with a 32.4% internal rate of return. Those numbers assume a long-term price of $65 a pound uranium oxide (U3O8).

Initial capital expenditures would come to $331 million to build the mine and a plant processing 8.5 million tonnes per year. Total sustaining capital costs for the 10-year lifespan would reach $228 million. Payback would take 3.5 years.

Life of mine cash costs would average $20.57 a pound but, Macusani emphasized, years one to five would average $19.45, “placing it in the lowest quartile in the world using 2012 production figures.” Those first five years would produce an average 5.17 million pounds annually which would, were it operating now, rank the mine the world’s sixth largest, the company maintained. The 10-year average would be 4.3 million pounds.

The project, on the Macusani plateau in southeastern Peru, features multiple deposits, some adjacent to each other, others a few to several kilometres apart. The December 5 news release once again claimed last August’s resource update showed a 167% increase in measured and indicated categories. But there was no increase in the measured category. In fact measured pounds equal less than 1% of the M&I total.

Calling the project potentially “one of the lowest-cost uranium producers in the world,” Macusani CEO Laurence Stefan added, “The PEA demonstrates that the Macusani plateau has significant potential to become a major uranium-producing district, considering that only small areas have been explored to date.”

The company expects to begin pre-feasibility work in 2014.

NexGen announces initial geophysical results for Rook 1

An airborne radiometric survey over the PLS-vicinity Rook 1 project found at least five zones with elevated readings, NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE reported on December 2. Two of the zones are “proximal” to last summer’s drilling and could provide targets for another program beginning in January. Additionally aeromagnetic data identified regional and local basement structures.

The company will pursue the source of the elevated radiometrics next summer through ground radiometric surveying, mapping and sampling. Meanwhile the current data from 5,772 line-kilometres of high-resolution magnetic, very low frequency and radiometric surveys undergoes more comprehensive analysis.

Still to come are assays from NexGen’s nine-hole, 3,473-metre campaign at the eastside Basin Radio project, where the company holds a 70% option two kilometres east of Rio Tinto’s NYE:RIO Roughrider deposits. Having raised $5 million in late August, NexGen stated it’s still well-financed.

More near-surface, district-wide potential found in Argentina, says U3O8

In mid-November U3O8 Corp TSX:UWE said a discovery roughly 40 kilometres northeast of its Laguna Salada deposit could indicate district-scale potential. On December 4 the company stated another Argentinian discovery, on the southern extension of Laguna Salada, further suggests that potential. In both cases vertical channel sampling found near-surface, soft gravel uranium-vanadium mineralization.

Laguna Salada trials showed that screening could concentrate over 90% of its uranium in about 10% of the gravel’s original mass, resulting in 10 to 11 times greater grade, U3O8 stated. The company maintains its deposits offer continuous surface mining potential with alkaline leaching.

Dubbed La Susana, the new discovery’s slated for pitting and trenching to determine the extent of mineralization. While Laguna Salada’s PEA nears completion, the company continues JV negotiations with a province-owned mining company that could unite Laguna Salada with adjoining concessions.

U3O8 has a Colombian uranium-polymetallic project with a PEA and an earlier-stage project in Guyana.

Aldrin finishes Triple M gravity survey, offers $2-million private placement

With its ground gravity survey complete, Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN stated anomalies coincide with previous results and already-identified drill targets. Data from 871 stations on Triple M, adjacent to and southwest of PLS, covered two parallel bedrock conductors already noted from an airborne VTEM survey and surface radon anomalies, the company reported on December 4.

Gravity anomalies consist of relatively low readings “reflecting the dissolution and removal of rock mass by the same basinal fluids that may also precipitate uranium,” Aldrin explained.

Two days earlier the company announced a $2-million private placement for Triple M exploration and drilling. The offer comprises 18.18 million units at $0.11, with each unit consisting of one flow-though share and one-half warrant, with each full warrant exercisable at $0.16 for 18 months.

In early November Aldrin reported closing a $972,500 first tranche of a private placement that had been announced the previous month. The company has also indicated plans to buy the Virgin property around the Basin’s south-central rim.

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